Hugs may have more benefits than you realise
The benefits of hugs go beyond just spreading joy and enjoying a good squeeze with someone you care about. It’s important to note that not everyone feels comfortable with the same level of physical touch, but, in many cases hugs are thought to positively impact both your mental and physical health.
Read on for reasons you should get – and give – more hugs on the daily (under appropriate circumstances, and with consent of course).
Hugs may boost immunity
If you feel under the weather, hugging may help. A study published in 2014 in the journal Psychological Science found that hugs may help reduce the severity of cold symptoms. Experts from Carnegie Mellon University intentionally exposed adults in this study to a common cold virus. Then, they examined ‘the roles of perceived social support and received hugs in buffering against interpersonal stress-induced susceptibility to infectious disease.’
The results? Social support and frequent hugs seemed to predict ‘less-severe illness signs.’
Hugs may lower stress
The next time you feel a conflict coming on, you may want to hug it out. A study published in PLOS ONE in 2018 found that ‘[…]both men and women may benefit equally from being hugged on days when conflict occurs.’
While additional research is needed to more fully support this stress-alleviating idea, it can’t hurt to reap this specific benefit of hugging.